CNET News.com: Microsoft considers giving Windows CE license to developers

“Microsoft is considering giving away Windows CE licenses to
developers, sources said today, in a bid to spur hardware
manufacturers to use the floundering software.”

“Windows CE is a scaled-down operating system used in devices
ranging from handheld computers to Internet appliances and smart
cash registers. What Microsoft is considering, sources said, is
removing the licensing fees hardware and software makers pay the
company to use the operating system in products such as bar-code
scanners and “smart” gas pumps, for example.”

“The move comes as Microsoft continues to struggle to find a
niche for the operating system. Since its launch two years ago,
Windows CE has been dogged by customer complaints that it is buggy,
bloated and ill-suited for the small and inexpensive devices and
appliances it was intended to power.
In the handheld market,
the company repeatedly has repositioned and tinkered with the
operating system after failing to grab market share from Palm.”

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